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Order of the Star of Italy bestowed on Claremorris-born composer

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HONOUR Italian Ambassador Adorni Braccesi presenting Patrick Cassidy with the decoration ‘Cavaliere’ (Knight) in the Order ‘Stella d’Italia’ at Italian Embassy Office, Dublin last week.

Michael Commins

CLAREMORRIS-born composer Patrick Cassidy was bestowed with the decoration of ‘Cavaliere’ (Knight) in the Order ‘Stella d’Italia’ at a special ceremony at the Italian Embassy Offices in Dublin last week. Mr Giovanni Adorni Braccesi, Ambassador of Italy, presided at the ceremony.
Among the guests attending the event were Dr Edward Walsh, Founding President of the University of Limerick, Ruan Magan, Director of ‘1916: The Irish Rebellion’, and Dr Kevin Whelan of Notre Dame University.
Patrick’s father, the late Colm Cassidy, was a native of Granard and came to Claremorris in the mid-1940s. His mother, Kathleen O’Donoghue was from Bantry in Co Cork and came to work in Colm’s pharmacy in 1949. She married Colm in June 1950 and they raised a family of nine children.
The Cassidy family left Claremorris on April 26, 1962, and moved to Bantry for a time. Two years later the new Shannon Industrial Estate and town advertised to tender for a pharmacy and the family secured that tender. They later established another pharmacy outlet in Limerick. Colm died in 1997. Kathleen still resides in Limerick.
The Cassidy family retains a great love for Claremorris and they still have many friends in the area. They also lend strong support to the Mayo senior football team and members of the family are regulars at the big Mayo matches in Croke Park.
Patrick, who is now resident in Los Angeles, is a great friend of Italy, its history, musical tradition and institutions. His compositional works have been greatly influenced by Italian culture.
He is currently writing an opera titled ‘Dante’. This composition has received the approval and the patronage of the Dante Alighieri Society which awarded him the ‘Dante Alighieri Prize’ in 2016. 
 “This is a tremendous honour for me to be recognized for my contribution to the Arts with this Italian Knighthood, of which I am truly delighted,” said Patrick.
The Order of the Star of Italy was created in 2011 as a reform of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity, established in 1947.
This distinction represents a particular honour for those, Italians abroad or foreigners, who have acquired special merit in the promotion of friendly relations between Italy and other countries and the promotion of ties with Italy.

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